Check out these ghost kitchens in D.C.
Ghost kitchens — which serve meals exclusively for takeout and/or delivery — are turning out seriously great, often under-the-radar food around D.C.
Why it matters: The business model, which skyrocketed in popularity during the pandemic when dining rooms were closed or regulated, isn’t as trendy these days. But that’s not a bad thing.
- Instead of a Covid dining necessity, chefs are using ghost kitchens to experiment with interesting new restaurant concepts or offer meals at a lower price point than in their dining rooms — all while dodging the costs and risks associated with opening a storefront.
Between the lines: A lot of the pandemic-born ghost kitchens have ghosted (or become full-fledged restaurants, such as Ghost Burger). So this next generation is an interesting one to watch.
What we’re craving:
🍜 The Noodle Lady: Kitima Boonmala, who’s behind popular Thai street food pop-up Toh Roong, recently snagged kitchen space in Ivy City to turn out terrific rice and noodle bowls. Go for the fried chicken khao soi or boat noodle soup.
🍗 Spicebird: Makan chef James Wozniuk runs this Southeast Asian chicken takeout out of his Malaysian hotspot in Columbia Heights. Diners can grab spice-rubbed whole or half birds with sides including sesame noodles or fried rice.
🐖 Bao Bei: Tasty Taiwanese dishes fly out of Kevin Hsieh’s Rockville kitchen, such as gua bao buns stuffed with pork belly and pickled greens, brown sugar “swirly buns,” and limited-time specials such as toasted sesame-scallion rolls.
🇰🇷 Ohmani Bap: The Annandale kitchen specializes in kimbap — Korean seaweed and rice rolls stuffed with the likes of bulgogi or vegetables— which aren’t super common in D.C. There’re also kimchis, dumplings, and more.
Never forget: If you’re craving donkey sauce, Guy Fieri is still running his phantom Flavortown Kitchen out of Buca di Beppo in Dupont Circle and elsewhere.
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